CBT For Anxiety

Does CBT work for anxiety?

It is natural to think about getting better as soon as possible when you are dealing with anxiety issues. CBT is considered a first choice in treating Anxiety in most cases. CBT is considered an effective treatment and it is also suggested by researchers who have seen its practical evidence. The therapy is also recommended by GPs to Anxiety patients. However, the most common question asked about CBT is how long does it take to cure Anxiety.

Impact of different factors on the duration of treatment by CBT

According to the Government Mental Health (NICE) recommendations, patients should have 6 to 24 CBT sessions for better results. CBT sessions vary in every case, as every individual is unique and needs a different level of treatment. Some people suffering from severe Anxiety tend to feel better after a few sessions. On the other hand, there are people with mild Anxiety who need more sessions to heal completely. Some other common factors impact the number of sessions required for a successful treatment.

Anxiety severity

The most common factor that influences the number of sessions of CBT for Anxiety is “Anxiety Severity,” and it is divided into three types:

Mild Anxiety

This type of Anxiety happens for a short period and in certain situations. It doesn’t stop you from doing your daily activities, but you may escape yourself from certain situations to avoid Anxiety. Some people also experience panic attacks during mild Anxiety. The patient feels anxious, but this feeling can be handled

Duration to treat mild Anxiety by CBT

3 to 12 sessions of CBT are required to treat Mild Anxiety. Moreover, the duration of the treatment also depends upon the personality of the patient. The healing becomes more effective in cases when patients wish to heal quickly.  In London, most therapists use CBT to treat Anxiety patients and consider it as an effective strategy in treating Anxiety.

 It helps identify the issues behind Anxiety and suggests suitable strategies for its effective treatment.

It happens when you often feel anxious every other day and don’t know the exact reason behind it. You might have panic attacks during moderate Anxiety, and it may stick around for a more extended period. There is no specific situation that might trigger your Anxiety, and it does not hinder your day-to-day activities, but you experience concentration issues. 

Duration to Treat Moderate Anxiety by CBT

6 to 12 or maybe 24 sessions of CBT for Anxiety are enough to see the improvements in feelings. Treatment can be prolonged if the patient has been suffering anxiety for a longer period. Treatment of moderate Anxiety may not tell the main reason behind Anxiety. CBT involves a conversation with the patient, and this talking helps to figure out the real cause behind the Anxiety.

 It becomes more convenient in cases where patients feel comfortable and free to discuss the issues bothering them.t also aids them in dealing with sudden Anxiety and panic attacks in future. 

Severe Anxiety

Severe Anxiety happens when you feel anxious every day, and it makes it hard for you to perform your daily activities. You might also experience panic attacks during severe Anxiety, and it makes you uncomfortable every time. You have difficulty having good relationships, socializing, and making new friends. 

Duration to treat severe Anxiety by CBT?

At Least 24 sessions of CBT talk therapy are required for the better treatment of severe Anxiety. Some people recover from this Anxiety faster, and some may need up to 48 sessions along with other types of therapies depending upon the harshness of the Anxiety. Combining other types of therapies may increase the effectiveness of treatment and provide long-term results.

 It is essential to acquire the services of the professional therapist for effective and quick treatment. It would lead to more positive results.

 Additional Factors

Some other factors that might affect the length and time of treatment required include:

  • How long you have been feeling anxious
  • The level of change that you want Analyzing 
  • if CBT only is enough to get the desired results.
  • The situation of your life
  • How confident you feel

 Anxiety Psychoeducation

Patients with Anxiety often have very little knowledge about their complications. Some people feel only frightened after seeing snakes or uncomfortable in a large group. However, some people have a constant feeling of Anxiety, and they are unaware of the leading cause of their Anxiety.

Challenging Negative Thoughts

Challenging negative thoughts is one of the practices used to acquire positive results in patients. It is often practiced during sessions to make it easier for patients to do this later. It is based on the Cognitive Behaviour Model and helps the patients understand the underlying cause of their feelings. They need to write down the situations and feelings they experience after the situation. 

This activity is known as the Thought log, and by filling the Thought log, patients understand the relation of the situation with their thoughts, feelings, and behavior.  However, it is practiced during the sessions to make the process known to the patient, as it also minimizes the chances of skipping anything important. The mastery of the skill would enable the patient to identify their confused thoughts during the Anxiety and would not believe it to be true. 

Exposure Therapy

This therapy helps people to confront their fears. This fear could be of anything, such as fear of particular objects, situations, and activities.It is most likely that people tend to avoid the things they fear. It temporarily helps to reduce the fear but eventually leads to worse fear. Exposure therapy is how people are exposed to a particular object, situation, or activity in a safe and controlled environment.

Systematic Desensitization

System Desensitization is a therapy that is used to cure mental illnesses like Anxiety Disorder and post-traumatic disorder. The therapy is also known as Graduated Exposure Therapy. In this therapy, the patient is gradually exposed to their fear, starting from the least fearful exposure. Patients are taught relaxation skills, which help them face fears, tension, and Anxiety. 

There are three steps involved in this therapy. 

 In the first step, the patient is asked to relax, and breathing exercises are techniques used to treat. Patients are asked to breathe slowly, relax their muscles, and imagine entering a peaceful and calm scene. 

The second step involves listing all the patient’s fears on a scale of 10-1. On the 10th number, the patient writes down what he fears most, and then to number 1, all his fears are listed. On number 1, his least fearful fear is stated. Then, with the consultation of the therapist, he starts imagining the fear from number 1 to 10 on the list. 

This gradual increase could be through imagination, effects, or real exposure. This evidence-based therapy could take 4 to 12 sessions, depending on the patient’s condition. Hence, it is an effective therapy known to help 93%of patients.

Summary 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is used to treat mental health issues, and it has produced effective results. Many people have successfully healed from this therapy. CBT has proved to be a successful therapy and it is also known as the Evidence-based Approach.  The therapy is used to treat Anxiety patients and enables them through different techniques to recognize their thoughts and emotions. 

It further helps them to control their behavior. It is a combination of techniques employed to empower patients to cope with Anxiety. As goal-oriented therapy, it includes tasks and activities assigned as homework. It focuses on the patient’s long-term mental well-being and helps them foster resilience. It primarily focuses on behavioral and relaxation strategies that help prevent relapse and maintain long-term wellness.

References

  1. American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Exposure therapy for PTSD. APA Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of PTSD in Adults. https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/patients-and-families/exposure-therapy.pdf
  1. Free Psychotherapy Books. (n.d.). Cognitive therapy of anxiety disorders. Free Psychotherapy Books. https://www.freepsychotherapybooks.org/ebook/cognitive-therapy-of-anxiety-disorders/?gclid=CjwKCAiA9dGqBhAqEiwAmRpTC6Q7sI4DCcLal4kQo4MtsxGFV9epCoZuLjixVZRvpcoalWfXipJc6RoCSG4QAvD_BwE
  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. (2018). Title of the article. Journal Name, Volume(Issue). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5992015/pdf/nihms938007.pdf